A grandmother in Covington, GA, just about an hour away from Macon, was charged with DUI, endangering a child, first-degree homicide by vehicle, and improper lane usage. 11 Alive reported on the incident on June 14th and identified Melissa Radcliffe, 57, as the woman who was behind the wheel of the SUV at the time of the fatal accident.

Radcliffe had been traveling on Georgia Highway 212 in her 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer with her two granddaughters, ages six and seven. AJC reported that Radcliffe lost control of the vehicle and it began to go off the roadway and towards a residential driveway. At that time, Lori Spangler, 48, happened to be in the driveway checking her mail. Unfortunately, the two crossed paths and the vehicle came to a rest nearby to some bushes with Spangler trapped underneath it. Both firefighters and EMT’s were dispatched to the scene and while they were able to free Spangler from underneath the vehicle, she later died of her injuries.

The source stated that no one in the Trailblazer sustained any injuries. A service is expected to be held for Spangler on June 16that the Time Stewart Funeral Home in Loganville.

Earlier in the month of June, a senior assistant district attorney for the Murry County office was pulled over and arrested for DUI after police determined his BAC level was more than twice the legal limit. According to Suwannee Democrat, Matthew Rankin first caught the attention of a deputy when he made a turn from a lane that was not designated as a turning lane onto Underwood Road from the north bypass. Not only did he neglect to use his turn signal, but he nearly went off the road after making a wide turn.

The deputy then pulled the vehicle over and found an open container of ale in the passenger floorboard and “at least 15 open containers of various beers” inside the car. Rankin was then administered a breathalyzer test that registered a .190, however, Georgia’s legal limit is .08. Rankin proceeded to tell the deputy that he only had one beer and some wine about a half hour prior to being stopped,” but the officer noted that there was a distinct odor of alcohol coming from his breath. His speech was also slurred.

As a result of failing the breath test, Rankin was booked into the county jail and charged with DUI, open container violation, failure to use signal and improper turn. He was released shortly after on a bond of $2,660. Rankin has been with the district attorney’s office for nearly 20 years and one deputy stated that “he’s done a lot of good in his career.” When Rankin was initially pulled over and being evaluated by the deputy, he stated, “I understand y’all got me, and my whole career is over.”

As of right now, Rankin hasn’t been let go from his position, but he has been placed on administrative leave with pay until June 18th. Although it has not been disclosed if Rankin has hired a GA DUI defense lawyer yet, it would be in his best interest to retain legal aid given the charged that have been filed against him.

DUI charges combined with other infractions of the law can make it rather difficult to get them reduced. That is why it is always in the best interest of the alleged offender to hire a dependable DUI attorney who can help them with their case. If you have been charged with DUI in Macon, GA, contact the DUI defense lawyers at James W. Davis & Associates by calling 478-742-1440. These skilled attorneys can help you understand the degree of your charges and will even devise a plan on how to get them reduced or even dismissed.


You can reach James W. Davis & Associates at:

143 Lamar Street

Macon, GA 31204